Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Cultural Landscape

Seyyid Battal Gazi Complex

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Seyyid Battal Gazi Complex

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Turkey, Seyitgazi, Eskisehir
Type: Cultural Landscape
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Islamic Culture
World Heritage:
Middle AgesIslamic CultureCultural Landscape

The complex is dedicated to (Seyyid) Battal Gazi, an epic hero based on a warrior who fought with the Umayyad army against Byzantium and who is believed to have been martyred on the site. The complex, as it appears today, consists of a mosque, a funerary madrasa, a zawiya with soup-kitchen and numerous tombs enveloping a precinct courtyard. An inscription above the door of the single-domed mosque dates its foundation 1207-1208 during the second reign of Seljuk Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhusrev I.
The Seljuk complex was renovated and enlarged with subsidiary buildings during the rule of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II (1448-1512), establishing it as a convent (khanqah) of the Kalenderi sect. The tomb bears two plaques from this period, crediting renovations in 1500 and 1511 by Mustafa Hizir and Ahmed bin Mihal; the latter is commemorated in a second plaque above the madrasa portal and buried inside the complex.
The mosque is a single domed structure at the southeast corner of the precinct and measures twelve meters by side on the exterior. It is entered from the west and has a single minaret at its northeast corner.
The madrasa is located at the southwest corner of the precinct and is aligned north-south. It is roughly rectangular in plan, measuring about twenty-five meters at the widest and twenty-two meters at its longest. The tomb chamber extends an additional six meters beyond its northern wall. The ensemble is also known after Ummuhan Hatun, wife of Giyaseddin Keyhusrev and mother of Ala'addin Keykubad (Ala al-Din Kay-Qubadh, 1220-1237), whose sarcophagus is located inside the tomb.
The madrasa walls are constructed of rough-hewn stone and lack decoration except for the Greco-Roman moldings embedded into the cut stone paneling of the tomb's exterior.
The east and north sides of the precinct courtyard are enclosed by the zawiya (zaviye) and its soup kitchen (imaret or ashane), connected by porticoes. Built during the sixteenth century, these subsidiary structures mark the skyline of the complex with their numerous domes and chimneys. A large octagonal tomb with a dome stands between the Seljuk period madrasa and mosque.

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